I used to make New Year’s Resolutions. My early journals contain the lists I wrote on January 1, which usually included something about treating my brothers better and reading my Bible more. Sometimes, in the first weeks of January, I’d comment on my failure to keep a resolution (probably the one about my brothers) and tell myself I’d try to do better. By the end of January, the resolutions were long forgotten. So after a few years, I stopped making resolutions.
And yet most years, I still approach January with a feeling that this year will be better than last year. Just as I often go to sleep, telling myself that tomorrow I’ll do better than I did today. I think we are all prone to this hope that we can better ourselves (just look at the self-help section of your local bookstore). Priscilla Shirer shares similar thoughts about resolutions in the opening of The Resolution for Women. She points out that whether or not we make New Year’s Resolutions, we are women of resolutions. We’ve made decisions about how to live our lives, how to treat our friends and family, how to raise our children, and these resolutions are “making you who you are. They’re determining the life you’ll end up living, the tomorrow you’ll end up shaping.”
That’s a bit of a scary thought, because it’s true. And if it’s true, then I want to be deliberate about the choices I’m making. Rather than scaring me, this book of resolutions encouraged me by giving me the resources and inspiration I need to make good choices in my life. To become the woman I want to be.
In The Resolution for Women, Priscilla outlines thirteen resolutions based on Biblical principles for women to aspire to. She speaks as a friend, someone coming alongside us to encourage us in our goals, someone who has been there, done that and knows what it’s like to be a wife and a mother and a busy woman, yet one who still pushes us to look beyond our day-to-day tasks and reach for what God wants for us. This book is not just for wives and mothers; it’s for women in every walk of life as Priscilla shows how these resolutions can deepen our relationships with our family, friends, and with God.
Resolutions might be scary, but I found myself liking the fact that this book demanded a commitment of me. I’m guilty of reading lots of books, hoping that this book will be the one that somehow makes my life better. I want an epiphany moment, a big change in my life. But I’m coming to realize that doesn’t happen. Change comes in small steps—like the small chapters of this book. Each resolution has three or four chapters with personal anecdotes, illustrations, Scriptures, prayers, and questions for discussion or journaling; then Priscilla asks us to commit to that resolution, to sign an agreement with ourselves (or some close friends) that we’ll uphold these. You may even want, like the men in the Courageous movie, to copy the entire resolution and hang it on a wall to remind yourself of your commitments.
Whether you like making resolutions or not, may I invite you to join me in making these thirteen resolutions this year. (Maybe your husband will join you by reading and committing to The Resolution for Men.) I have great dreams for 2012, but I know that God has bigger dreams for me. With the prayer and inspiration of this book, I want to step into those dreams.
“Brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord as an example of patient resolve and steadfastness. Look at how we honor those who have practiced endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job. And you have seen what the Lord has accomplished, for the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:10-11 CEB)
What resolutions have you made in January? Have your resolutions helped or discouraged you?
Book has been provided courtesy of David C Cook and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from B&H Publishing Group. This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.